Winemaking & Vineyards

The philosophy of Backsberg remains that of providing pleasure and enjoyment to a broad range of wine lovers by producing wines not only with structure and finesse, but also with a high level of “drinkability”.

img_6764_smlTo put it simply, if you find our wines easy to drink then we are achieving what we want.

This philosophy has to exist under an overall umbrella of Care. Care of our land, our product and the people who work for us – and care of the environment in which we find ourselves.


We currently have around 80 ha under vineyard and additional satellite vineyards in two other areas. Our vineyards are located along the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains, mid way between Paarl and Stellenbosch and some 40 minutes from Cape Town.

We are blessed with a wonderful climate; full sunny days in the summer and cold wet days in the winter – a great location to ‘grow’ wine.

For us the key to producing high quality fruit lies in the word ‘balance’. This word must apply in all our decisions from site selection, to style of trellis, canopy management and irrigation.

A question often asked by other growers of each other and wine writers of growers, is what is your yield per hectare. For us at Backsberg this question has been consigned to the bin and replaced with the question what is your yield per square meter of canopy. Given that the canopy or the leaves are the “factory” of the vine that ensure fruit concentration and ripeness, the issue is not yield per square meter of surface area but rather yield per square meter of “factory” that is balance.

An additional change in our thinking over the last number of years is to say that at the all critical time of harvesting we don’t simply harvest ripe fruit, but rather fruit form ripe vines. The holistic view again – all the aspects of the vine must show ripeness.


Backsberg’s wine making style is very much based on the kiss principle. i.e. “keep it simple stupid”.img_8009_sml

In other words, if we have not got it right in the vineyards we are not going to get it right in the cellar.

Winemaking is done with as little intervention as possible, but with Alicia holding the reigns of all the components of the cellar together with the sole aim of directing winemaking to produce wines with a high level of drinkability.

Wines which are seamless, i.e. wines where all the components of flavour are in harmony: fruit sweetness, tannin, acid and where the wines have been wood matured, barrel characteristics.

She has trained her staff well, and all quietly go about the business of winemaking in a diligent planned and organised manner.